During the pandemic a group of Emory University researchers wrote, “In times of great stress, stories sustain us.” According to their study, children who know their family stories are more resilient, weather stress better throughout their lives, exhibit more self-esteem, and have higher quality friendships over those who did not know their origin stories.
Generational storytelling means passing down stories, experiences, and knowledge from generation to generation. These stories often contain lessons, morals, and insights that can help younger generations develop resilience, which is the ability to adapt and cope with challenges and adversity. It also creates a sense of security and belonging.
This concept is at the heart of how we serve our clients and families at SignatureFD. We focus on the “why behind the what.” Yes, we are a wealth management firm, but our philosophy is about more than creating a financial plan or saving for retirement.
We go even further and partner with clients to create a unique wealth journey by uncovering the stories that inform their personal goals.
We ask questions to get to the heart of financial decisions, like:
- “What are you saving your money for?”
- “What are your dreams for your family?”
- “What legacy do you hope to leave?”
With this approach to wealth management, we can co-create a narrative that connects wealth and worth.
This is what we call your Net Worthwhile™.
A good place to start your journey toward Net Worthwhile™ is through generational storytelling, which can facilitate a deeper connection with loved ones and help clarify what matters most to you and your family today and in the future.
How to Practice Generational Storytelling
Give yourself and those you love, including young children, permission to be curious. Create a warm and welcoming setting for family storytelling — virtually or in person — including as many generations of family members as possible.
Open-ended questions work best. Here are some examples:
- Do you know the source of your name?
- What was going on in the world when you were born?
- Do you know which person you act or look like most in the family?
- Do you know some of the jobs your parents or grandparents had growing up?
Generational storytelling is a profound way to instill a deeper bond across generations and grow a sense of pride, identity, and connection to our past. All we need to do is ask questions and actively listen.
Generational Storytelling and Generosity
Adding elements of generosity to the conversation brings in a layer of hope for the family’s future. Use this time to define the family’s collective giving identity.
Ask questions like:
- What breaks your heart?
- What is your “soapbox?”
- If you had unlimited resources to donate, where would you give?
- What are our family’s core values, and how do we demonstrate those in our daily lives?
SignatureGENEROSITY helps people explore their values and identify the causes they are passionate about, often inspired by generational storytelling of the past and hopes for the family’s future.